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Professor, Political Theory

Jim Crimmins, PhD Fulbright Fellow
Professor, Political Theory
My teaching is centred on the student’s engagement in reading and analyzing political theory, from the classical writings of the Ancient Greeks to modern and contemporary theories of government, justice, democracy, and liberty. I am particularly interested in the application of ideas to practice, in shaping policy and law and as a grounding from which to criticize government and institutions

Students at Huron are introduced to a unique world of the liberal arts in which they discover surprising and fertile connections between traditional subjects of learning, like Economics, English and French Literature, History, Philosophy, Political Science and Psychology, and subjects that take them beyond the geographic and spatial confines of customary theatres of learning to Global Studies,  Management and Organization Studies, Chinese Language and Literature, Interdisciplinary Studies, Jewish Studies, and Japanese Studies.  It is a world in which students combine research with learning and integrate in their studies experiential engagement in communities beyond the university walls, both near and far.  Studying political ideas is an integral part of this unique education.

Universities and Degrees awarded: 

  • PhD, Political Science, specializing in Political Theory, Western University
  • MA, Political Theory, Swansea University, Wales, UK
  • BA (Hons), Political Theory and Government, Swansea University, Wales, UK

Summary of Research:

  • Modern Political Theory
  • History of European and American Political Thought
  • Utilitarian Theory
  • Religion and Political Thought

Major Work in Progress:

  • Utilitarianism in the Early American Republic. A book-length study of the dissemination of utilitarian ideas and their influence in the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War.
  • Virtue, Manners, Liberty: The Moral and Political Thought of John Brown, 1715–66.

Publications: 

Books:

  • The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Utilitarianism, edited with an introduction, London & New York: Bloomsbury, 2013. xx, 585 pp.  Reprinted, corrected edition, paperback, 2017.
  • Religion, Secularization and Political Thought: Thomas Hobbes to J.S. Mill, edited with an introduction (1989), rept., Routledge Library Editions: Philosophy of Religion, vol. 11; London: Routledge, 2013. 216 pp.
  • Utilitarian Philosophy and Politics: Bentham’s Later Years, Continuum Studies in British Philosophy, London & New York: Continuum, 2011.  xi, 247 pp. Reissued in paperback in Bloomsbury Studies in British Philosophy, London & New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.
  • Church-of-Englandism and its Catechism Examined (1818), in The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, edited with Catherine Fuller, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2011. xxx, 652 pp.
  • Utilitarians and Their Critics in America, 1789–1914, 4 vols., edited with Mark G. Spencer, with an introduction by James E. Crimmins; Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum, 2005.
  • Theory of Legislation; by Jeremy Bentham. Translated from the French of Etienne Dumont, by Richard Hildreth, 2 vols. (1840; 2nd. edn. London 1864), with an introduction, appendix, and index; Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004.
  • The Death Penalty: Debates in Britain and the US, 1725–1868, 7 vols., edited with a preface and introduction (vol. I, xiii–xliv); Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum; Tokyo: Edition Synapse, 2004.
  • The Opinions of Different Authors upon the Punishment of Death, Selected by Basil Montagu, Esq. of Lincoln’s Inn, 3 vols. (London 1809, 1812, 1813), with an introduction and bibliographic list of contents (vol. 1, vii–xlii); Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum; Tokyo: Edition Synapse, 2004.
  • On Bentham, Wadsworth Philosophers Series, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2004. 97 pp.
  • Jeremy Bentham’s Auto-Icon, and Related Writings, edited with an introduction and annotations, Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2002.  lxix, 203 pp.
  • Utilitarians and Religion, two parts: Pt I. Religious Utilitarians, Pt II. Secular Utilitarians, edited with introductions to each part, biographical notes, and notes on the texts; hardback and paperback, Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1998.  x, 502 pp.
  • Secular Utilitarianism: Social Science and the Critique of Religion in the Thought of Jeremy Bentham, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990.  xi, 348 pp.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters (selected):

  • “Dissemination and Reception in the United States,” The Journal of Comparative Law, special issue: “Bentham Around the World,” ed. Philip Schofield and Xiaobo Zhai, 2019, forthcoming.
  • “Utilitarianism,” Encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment, 2 vols., ed. Mark G. Spencer (London & New York: Continuum, 2015), vol. 2, pp.1061–64.
  • “History of Utilitarian Social Thought,” International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edn., ed. James D. Wright (Oxford: Elsevier, 2015), vol. 24, pp.980–85.
  • “Jeremy Bentham,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2015; updated 201718), ed. Edward N. Zalta, online: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2015/entries/bentham, pp.1–56.
  • “Utility and Religion,” in Aaron Garrett (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Eighteenth Century Philosophy (London and New York: Routledge, 2014), pp.465–99.
  • “Bentham and Utilitarianism in the Early Nineteenth Century,” in Ben Eggleston and Dale Miller, (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 34–52.
  • “The Principles of Utilitarian Penal Law in Beccaria, Bentham and Mill,” in Peter Karl Koritansky (ed.), The Philosophy of Punishment and the History of Political Thought (Columbia, Missouri: The University of Missouri Press, 2011), pp.136–71.
  • “Utility, Truth, and Atheism,” Revue d”études benthamiennes (e-journal of the Centre Bentham, Paris), Numéro 6 (Janvier-Février 2010), pp.6–10.
  • “Utilitarianism,” Encyclopedia of British Philosophy, ed. A.C. Grayling, Andrew Pyle, and Naomi Goulder (London & New York: Continuum, 2006), pp.3251–59.
  • With Anne Skoczylas, “Jeremy Bentham,” Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie: Die Philosophie des 18. Jahrhunderts, Band 1: Grossbritannien. Nordamerika. Niederlande, ed. Herausgegeben von Helmut Holzhey und Vilem Mudroch (Basel: Schwabe Verlag, 2004), pp.940–66.
  • With Anne Skoczylas, “Religiöse Utilitaristen [Religious Utilitarians],” Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie: Die Philosophie des 18. Jahrhunderts, Band 1: Grossbritannien. Nordamerika. Niederlande, ed. Herausgegeben von Helmut Holzhey und Vilem Mudroch (Basel: Schwabe Verlag, 2004), pp.917–39.
  • “William Paley (1743–1805),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography… From the earliest times to the year 2000, 60 vols., ed. H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp.445–51.
  • “John Brown (1715–1766),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography… From the earliest times to the year 2000, 60 vols., ed. H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp.64–66.
  • “Hobbes and Bentham: An Issue of Influence,” Journal of the History of Ideas, 63/4 (2002), pp.677–96.
  • “Bentham’s Religious Radicalism Revisited: A Response to Schofield,” History of Political Thought, 22/3 (2001), pp.494–500.
  • “The Genius Debate and Jeremy Bentham,” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 362 (1998), pp.283–302.
  • “Jeremy Bentham and Daniel O’Connell: Their Correspondence and Radical Alliance, 1828–31,” The Historical Journal, 40/2 (1997), pp.359–87.
  • “Contending Interpretations of Bentham’s Utilitarianism,” Canadian Journal of Political Science, 29/4 (1996), pp.751–77.  Also, an extended version in Spanish translation entitled “El legado liberal de Bentham: teoría y práctica utilitarista” [“Bentham’s Liberal Legacy: Utilitarian Theory and Practice”], Telos: Revista Iberoamericana de Estudios Utilitaristas, 6/2 (1997), pp.9–42.
  • With Dr P. Nesbitt-Larking, “Canadian Prime Ministers in the pp.House of Commons: Patterns of Intervention,” The Journal of Legislative Studies, 2/3 (1996), 145–71.
  • “From an ‘ultra democrat’ to an ‘ultra aristocrat’: Bentham Tracts in the Adams Collection, Quincy, Massachusetts,” The Book Collector (1994), pp.229–55.
  • “Bentham’s Political Radicalism Reexamined,” Journal of the History of Ideas (USA), 55/2 (1994), pp.259–81. Reprinted in Fred Rosen (ed.), Jeremy Bentham (International Library of Essays in the History of Social and Political Thought; Aldershot: Ashgate Publishers 2007), pp.511–34.
  • “Bentham’s Philosophical Politics,” The Harvard Review of Philosophy, 3/1 (1993), pp.18–22. Reprinted in Phineas Upham (ed.), The Space of Love and Garbage: And Other Essays from the Harvard Review of Philosophy (Chicago and La Salle, Illinois: Open Court Press, 2008), pp.213–27.
  • With K.E. Garay, “The C.K. Ogden Papers at McMaster University: Bibliographia Benthamiana,” Archivaria, 32 (1991), pp.114–23.
  • “The Canadian Senate: Comedy or Remedy? A modest proposal for Senate reform along the lines of the British House of Lords,” Policy Options, 12/7 (1991), pp.29–30.
  • “The Common Law and Benthamic Praxis: Crimmins on Postema,” The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, 3/1 (1990), pp.145–59.
  • “Legislating Virtue: John Brown’s Scheme for National Education,” Man and Nature/L’Homme et la Nature, (The Journal of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies), 9 (1990), pp.69–90.
  • With M.R. Moore, “The Case for Negotiated Independence,” in J.F. McGarry and B. O’Leary (eds), The Future of Northern Ireland (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), pp.242–67.
  • “Religion, Utility and Politics: Bentham versus Paley,” in J.E. Crimmins (ed.), Religion, Secularization and Political Thought: Thomas Hobbes to J.S. Mill (London: Routledge, 1989), pp.130–52.
  • “‘A Hatchet for Paley’s Net’: Bentham on capital punishment and judicial discretion,” The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, 1/1 (1988), pp.63–74.  An earlier version, entitled “‘Strictures on Paley’s Net’: Capital Punishment and the Power to Pardon,” appeared in The Bentham Newsletter, 11 (1987), pp.23–34.
  • With J.F. McGarry, “Stalemate in Northern Ireland?” The World Today (UK), 43/1 (1987), 8–11.
  • “Bentham’s Metaphysics and the Science of Divinity,” Harvard Theological Review, 79/4 (1986), pp.387–411. Reprinted in B. Parekh (ed.), Jeremy Bentham: Critical Assessments, 4 vols. (London and New York, Routledge, 1993), vol. 2, pp.72–93.
  • “Murder under the Charter,” Policy Options, 7/7 (1986), pp.36–37.
  • With J.F. McGarry, ‘The Hillsborough Deal and the Lessons of Sunningdale,” Fortnight: An Independent Review for Northern Ireland, 237 (1986), pp.11–12.
  • “‘The Study of True Politics’: John Brown on Manners and Liberty’, Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 241 (1986), pp.65–84.
  • “Bentham’s Unpublished Manuscripts on Subscription to Articles of Faith,” British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 9/1 (1986), pp.33–44.
  • “Bentham on Religion: Atheism and the Secular Society,” Journal of the History of Ideas (USA), 47/1 (1986), pp.95–110. Reprinted in B. Parekh (ed.), Jeremy Bentham: Critical Assessments, 4 vols. (London and New York, Routledge, 1993), vol. 2, pp.113–28.
  • “Bentham’s Religious Writings: A Bibliographic Chronology,” The Bentham Newsletter (UK), 9 (1985), pp.21–33. Reprinted in B. Parekh (ed.), Jeremy Bentham: Critical Assessments, 4 vols. (London and New York, Routledge, 1993), vol. 2, pp.129–44.
  • “John Brown and the Theological Tradition of Utilitarian Ethics,” History of Political Thought, 4/3 (1983), pp.523–50.

View Dr. Crimmins' Research